"Moon Over Buffalo" is a very funny play. Written by Ken Ludwig, it's full of good lines and a fair amount of physical comedy. It's one of those self-referential inside-theater things, but that doesn't make it less funny, and these days, most people who go to theater are there because they know and like theater, so the jokes work even better.
Alan Knoll is George Hay, an aging actor who's considerably less successful than he once was. He and wife Charlotte, played by Jenni Ryan, who fits into that same category, have a road company currently playing in Buffalo. Daughter Rosalind (Sam Auch) has opted for what she thinks is a "normal life" working in advertising, but has come to visit to introduce her fiance (Will Bonfiglio). Her ex-boyfriend (Pete Winfrey) is the company manager.
Things are complicated by the unplanned pregnancy of another actress (Kara Overlein) in the company - how'd that happen? - and the arrival of the family lawyer (Eric Dean White) who's had a thing, and maybe more, for Charlotte for years. Plenty of doors to run in and out of, naturally, and a wonderful sort of crawl-space closet, courtesy of the scenic designers Peter and Margery Spack.
The good news is that Alan Knoll is hysterical - not a new condition for him, goodness knows, but he's totally in his element. The next-best news is that after a first act that was difficult to understand because of poor enunciation and projection and stepping on lines by many, but not all of the cast, things straightened out pretty well. No one is using a microphone here, things are all au naturel.
That said, there's good work from Jenni Ryan as the wife, who pretty well understands what kind of a marriage she's in and has accepted it, at leat until now. Eric Dean White is the sort of attorney it would be difficult not to run off with, smooth and solid and believable. And once the lines were all audible, the rhythm of the play took over and all went well.
Really funny. Really fun.
Moon Over Buffalo
through August 9
Insight Theatre Company
Heagney Theatre at Nerinx Hall
530 E. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves